Egypt`s el-Sissi gives first campaign TV interview

Former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi gave the first TV interview of his campaign to become Egypt`s next president on Monday, saying he decided to run because of the threats facing the nation after his removal of the country`s first democratically elected president, Islamist Mohammed Morsi.

PTI| Last Updated: May 06, 2014, 09:36 AM IST

Cairo: Former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi gave the first TV interview of his campaign to become Egypt`s next president on Monday, saying he decided to run because of the threats facing the nation after his removal of the country`s first democratically elected president, Islamist Mohammed Morsi.

El-Sissi`s campaign for the May 26-27 election is likely to largely be made up of TV and media interviews and private meetings, with few street appearances, mainly because of security concerns, given the fierce emotions surrounding his candidacy and the wave of militant attacks on the military and police since his removal of Morsi last summer.

In the interview aired tonight on two private Egyptian TV channels, he said there have already been two assassination plots against him uncovered.

The lack of street campaigning is unlikely to damage the 59-year-old el-Sissi, who is widely seen as the certain victor in the race. His only opponent in the race is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, a third-place finisher in the 2012 election won by Morsi.

Since removing Morsi, el-Sissi has been riding an overwhelming media frenzy lau;ding him as the savior of the country from the Muslim Brotherhood, once Egypt`s most powerful political force but now all but crushed by a ferocious crackdown.